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What happens to a body after death

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What happens to a body after death

Post by Guest on 03.04.13 7:35

What happens to a body after death



No smell was reported from G5A.

If Madeleine had died there, Either:

1) Madeleine's body was removed very swiftly after death

OR

2) There was a helluva clean-up and Ocean Club cleaners must have
been kept away whilst this clean-up operation was going on



An extract from ‘Dead Men Do Tell
Tales’, by William R Maples and Michael Browning, Souvenir Press (1994), ISBN 0 285 63278 7



p. 38


There is no horrible, hidden mystery
involved in decomposition. Basically there are two well-mapped processes
involved: autolysis and putrefaction.



Autolysis occurs after death when digestive
juices, which in life dissolve only food, begin to digest the gastro-intestinal
tract. Within a few hours of death, these stomach acids will gnaw through the
stomach or esophagus which they have patiently and obediently served through
every moment of life. It is like some little French Revolution of the guts, in
which the servants suddenly become the masters and run amok. At the same time,
tyrosine crystals may form in the liver as proteins there break down after
death.



Putrefaction occurs as a result of
bacterial activity throughout the body. Putrefaction is a much greater
component of the decomposition process than autolysis, and it sweeps through
the body like a silent fire. Blood is a fertile sea in which bacteria swarm and
multiply. Gas is released within the blood vessels and tissues. The body swells
and becomes distended with methane gas. The body can actually swell to two or
three times its normal size within 12 to 18 hours. A colleague of mine, who
shall remain nameless, sometimes demonstrates this phenomenon for visitors by
darkening his laboratory, lighting a match, and thrusting a needle into the
swollen set of remains. There is a great blue jet of flame - and onlookers
gasp.



As we dissolve, our skin colour may change
from green to purple to black. Dislodged by the pressure of the accumulating
methane, our organs may bloom out form our lower orifices, and fouls-smelling
fluid may exude or spurt from these openings. The smell is largely composed of
butyric acids – that is, the ‘stench of death’ that is so repellent to our
nostrils. The skins slips from its moorings, so much that the skin of the hand
can sometimes be removed completely, like a glove, though the nails fall away.
Fingerprints can still be taken from these slipped-off ‘gloves’.



p. 39


To do this, the technician must insert his
own gloved hand into the dead bag of skin, ink the dead fingertips and
carefully roll the prints onto a blank card.



It is a myth that fingernails and hair
continue to grow after death. What really happens is that the skin may retract
around them, making the hair and nails prickle up and jut out more prominently.
Erich Maria Remarque, in his novel All
Quiet on the Western Front
, imagines a dead friend’s nails growing in
weird, subterranean corkscrews after his burial. It is a powerful, disturbing
image, but it is pure moonshine. No such thing occurs.



Dreadful as all these processes may seem,
they are only he resolution of certain carbon-based compounds. Carbon is the
element of life and death. We share it with diamonds and dandelions, with
kerosene and kelp. While we may wrinkle our noses at some of its
manifestations, we ought also to remember that this element comes to us from
the stars, which wheel over us forever in silent, glittering array, pure fires
obeying celestial laws.



p. 47


Even unshielded by any container, a body
will last longer underground. The general rule of thumb for the rate of
decomposition is:




  • One
    week in the open air equals two weeks in water…

  • Which
    equals eight weeks underground.



p. 48


The horrific picture of ‘worms’ devouring a
buried body is false. Flies will lay eggs on a body even before it is dead, and
their wriggling, wormlike larvae, known as maggots, will hatch out in just
under 24 hours. The cycle is so regular that it can sometimes be used to
establish the time of death.



But maggots cannot live underground. My
colleague, Doug Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution, investigated an ancient
Arikara Indian burial site in South Dakota, and found that fly pupal cases were
present in 16.4% to 38.3% of the burials at five sites, even though the burials
were over two feet deep.



How did they get there? Flies and beetles
do not burrow more than a few inches below the ground. The answer is, the
insects found their way to the corpse before it was buried, and were buried
alive with it. When we examined the remains of Zachary Taylor, we found fly
pupal cases among the bones. The industrious flies of Washington, D.C., had
been at work on Taylor’s body as it lay in state. They are no respecters of
rank.



Maggots are tough, resourceful creatures.
They have been known to feast on the remains of cyanide-poisoning victims and
happily thrive on them. They have a covering of chitin that is almost
impervious to everything but flamethrowers. They have evolved so as to live out
their lives amid surroundings that would make most people faint with nausea,
yet for them our corpses are delightful, a fragrant Elysium dripping with
nectar and ambrosia.



I have seen exultant maggots hopping like
popcorn over the decaying remains of a human body, seething in glad myriads,
leaping as high as 18 inches in the air, falling on the floor with a soft,
pattering noise, like gentle rainfall. They attack not at random but in
concert, like shoals of hungry piranhas. I have known maggots to attack a body
so zestfully that, over the space of a few hours, their combined jostling can
shove the false teeth out of a dead man’s mouth.

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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by Nina on 03.04.13 10:31

If the deceased is refrigerated then this process is halted.

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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by Juulcy on 03.04.13 13:09

I find all these non relevant details about maggots hard to stomache.

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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by PeterMac on 03.04.13 14:15

Important not to go overboard about this.
For the first hour or so a body is perfectly OK, though if you move it inexpertly there may be some "leakage".
Picking a body up by feet and shoulders for example causes it to bend in the middle and causes pressure on bowel and bladder, which is then not controlled by the relevant sphyncters.
The development of the cadaverine however has already started.
Some time later, around 12 hours depending on conditions, rigor mortis sets in, and the body then becomes rigid for another 12 hours until it gradually relaxes again.
But importantly this process is often not seen in infants and small children.
In all the cot deaths I attended the children were very limp and floppy, even if it had happened overnight.


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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by Guest on 03.04.13 15:04

Good afternoon, Peter Mac,

So, by what you say, Bundleman did the right thing carrying his 'bundle' the way he did: avoiding leakage?

And who, of those present in the holiday complex, but a doctor, would professionally know how to do that?

Maybe someone who had just previously handled no less than six (other?) corpses?

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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by Nina on 03.04.13 20:11

@Portia wrote:Good afternoon, Peter Mac,

So, by what you say, Bundleman did the right thing carrying his 'bundle' the way he did: avoiding leakage?

And who, of those present in the holiday complex, but a doctor, would professionally know how to do that?

Maybe someone who had just previously handled no less than six (other?) corpses?

Well I was a nurse and knew that as in hospitals it is the nurse who carry out the last offices, not the doctor.

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Re: What happens to a body after death

Post by PeterMac on 03.04.13 22:49

@Nina wrote:
@Portia wrote:Good afternoon, Peter Mac,
So, by what you say, Bundleman did the right thing carrying his 'bundle' the way he did: avoiding leakage?
And who, of those present in the holiday complex, but a doctor, would professionally know how to do that?
Maybe someone who had just previously handled no less than six (other?) corpses?
Well I was a nurse and knew that as in hospitals it is the nurse who carry out the last offices, not the doctor.
Quite so.
My brother is a doctor and confessed long ago that I as a police officer had dealt with more dead bodies than he had.
He had seen more, when he was a junior houseman and earning his "ash cash", but I had handled, recovered, helped sort out, collected together (don't even think about it !), fished out, and so on, many many more than he had ever been called upon to do.

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